International Relations

Oli has moved Nepal to irreversible confrontational posture with India, says Karan Singh

Srinagar: Expressing concern over the Indo-Nepal stand-off, the former Member Parliament Karan Singh on Monday laid stress upon holding Foreign Secretary-level talks to diffuse tension between the two nations.

In a statement, Singh said, “as one who has been closely associated both personally and politically with Nepal over several decades, I must express my sense of deep regret and dismay that Prime Minister Oli has moved the country into what can only be described as an irreversible confrontational posture with India despite the profound social, cultural, religious, economic and political relations between the two countries that go back many centuries.”

He said whatever the impact the move may have on India, “I fear that the consequences for Nepal will not be favourable for the people of that beautiful country.”

“We should never have allowed the situation to deteriorate like this. Although the dispute in question is a long-standing one it was raised by Nepal in November last year. Surprisingly, we didn’t seem to take the matter seriously. We should have immediately initiated foreign secretary-level talk and then, if necessary, raised them to the level of Foreign Minister or even the Prime Ministers’ level,” Singh said.

“Prima-facie, this appears to have been a serious diplomatic lapse, the consequences of which were before us,” he said.

Tension between India and Nepal have been building up after the country passed a bill in the Parliament which announced a new map, which includes Limpiyadhura, Lipulek and Kalapani. These territories are claimed and controlled by India, and Nepal government has said that they will ‘bring back the territory under Indian occupation for decades, at any cost’ even if the Himalayan nation has to ‘fight for it’.

Hours before Nepal’s lower house had to vote on the new political map of the country, Army chief General MM Naravane underscored the strong people-to-people ties between the two countries that have lately soured.

Tensions have also built up on the border with Nepalese forces opening fire at the Bihar border killing one Indian civilian and injuring four others.


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